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Schröder suggests elderly take part in public service

The Local · 15 Sep 2010, 10:37

Published: 15 Sep 2010 10:37 GMT+02:00

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Ahead of a two-day congress on how to handle the country’s demographic time bomb, Schröder said that a voluntary public service programme should be opened up to senior citizens as well as young people.

“Why shouldn't a 67-year-old say, ‘Now I’d like to do a half-year of public service?’” she told broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur, adding that many pensioners want to be socially engaged, but often don’t know where to begin.

Today many people remain “remarkably healthy” and “fit” even into their eighties, Schröder said, which means we have all been given the gift of a completely new phase of life.

“This period of life, which is really new historically, is a real gift, and one which we must enhance,” she told the broadcaster.

Schröder also spoke about how ever fewer businesses can afford to count employees over 60 as old, calling the idea of early retirement a “terrible folly.”

Story continues below…

“The future will go in exactly the opposite direction, where one will also want to hold on to the older workers too,” she said.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:04 September 15, 2010 by Bushdiver
Why not just make some of the career unemployed work. The older people in their mid 60's and above have put in their time. In America they welcome older employees since they work because they want to or need to. Here in Germany, by th time one reaches 50 no one is interested in hiring them.
20:07 September 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
"In America they welcome older employees since they work because they want to or need to."

That's not my experience. America is the preeminent youth culture. Anyone over 30 is superannuated. Anyone over 40 who has experience at his/her job is looking over his or her shoulder waiting for the axe to fall so that he or she can be replaced by a kid fresh out of school at a fraction of the salary. Those over 50 are on their way out and those over 60 are dinosaurs. The only things that keep those over 60 working, in most cases, is absolute financial necessity and anti-age discrimination laws. Those over 50 who have been laid off or lost their jobs through no fault of their own find it almost impossible to get hired back into the workforce in any capacity.

In most cultures, Eastern and Western, it is assumed that those who have a lifetime of experience still have something of value to contribute to society. In America it is exactly the opposite. Elders are considered utterly dispensable other than to baby sit the grandchildren.
01:19 September 16, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I very much agree with Schroder. This actually something I have been thinking about lately. France is also in the process of increasing the retirement age to 62.

The world is different now. People are living longer and therefore the human population is increasing. And our planet is not getting any larger. And so it is absolutely imperative, that humanity fully commit to the Efficient-Conservative Equation. Without a doubt, any system or way of life will eventually fail, if it is not based upon this equation.
20:31 September 17, 2010 by wxman
Send help, please. I completely agree with Prufrock's assertion.
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